SA was given to the violent ANC – It was called a dream that turned into a nightmare

SA was given to the violent ANC – It was called a dream that turned into a nightmare

On the afternoon of the 2nd of February 2015, 25 years ago, a speech lasting no more than 30 minutes changed the history, and the future, of South Africa for ever. Barely four months before, PW Botha was left no choice but to resign and was succeeded by FW de Klerk as State President.

For years De Klerk was regarded as a “verkrampte” – one of the most conservative Nationalists. Yet, by the end of 1989 he decided that the time has come to change the entire face of the country. Resulting from the years of sanctions the South African economy was under immense pressure. The multiple states of emergency could not end the violence and uprising in the country and South Africa was all but completely isolated from the sporting and cultural world. Apart from this, the call for the release of Mandela could no longer be ignored.

As long as 5 years before, in 1985, PW Botha already negotiated a release with Mandela on condition that he renounced violence as political tool and agree to negotiate a peaceful solution for the problems faced by South Africa. This, Mandela refused.

De Klerk informed only a handful of insiders of his decision. He deliberately decided to play the release of Mandela down in his proposed speech and attempt to focus the attention on the real announcement: The end of apartheid. His trustees were instructed not even to discuss the information with their spouses. His own wife, Marike, was told about it over the breakfast table only that morning.

In a speech lasting just under half an hour De Klerk unconditionally unbanned the ANC, PAC, SACP and 27 other movements, suspended the death penalty, lifted the state of emergency, freed all trade unions, released all political prisoners including Mandela and announced : “…a totally new and just constitutional dispensation in which every inhabitant will enjoy equal rights, treatment and opportunity.”

In short: In 30 minutes on a hot summer afternoon the New South Africa was born. A state of unity swallowing up the Homelands and creating a situation of majority rule with no protection for any minority group. The perfect recipe for a disaster of unimaginable human suffering.

De Klerk was cheered by the liberal Democratic Party, and he was hissed at by his own backbenchers and by the opposition Conservative Party. But the die was cast. And the future of South Africa was given into the hands of the violent ANC and of the SACP. It was called a dream. It became a nightmare.

25 Years down the line the South Africa which De Klerk announced in Cape Town is a country of violence and poverty and unemployment, of ever escalating racial hatred, of the bloodshed of the minority population, of corruption and greed, of criminals in power, of lies and deceit and blame and incompetence, of power failures and poor service delivery, of education and moral values going down the drain…

Why? Because what De Klerk did not realise was that the problem was not apartheid, was not Mandela, was not the ANC. The problem was that one nation should never rule over the other. His announcement created a set of bigger problems and the only solution, that of dividing up the country proportionally and securing self-rule and freedom for all, was ignored.

25 Years has been long enough to realise that we have a problem, which is on the point of becoming a crisis now. We cannot wait any longer to take all possible steps to create a situation of self-rule and safety for our people. There is no sense in cursing De Klerk. He threw away our history, we cannot allow him to destroy our future.

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Front Nasionaal Suid-Afrika

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